Brewed as directed for one of my first brewing attempts, taste is somewhat dry and color/flavor on the light and lacking side for my tastes. I actually ordered 2 kits somewhat by accident so I was hoping to make an improved version; since we are in the extract category I was thinking about adding the honey at flameout for sure and potentially adding more honey and/or different specialty grains and hops as necessary to keep in balance or even malodextrin potentially. Ideas appreciated!
Not sure what you’re going for but adding more honey will only make it more dry. The sugar is highly digestible for yeast and won’t impart more flavor to the beer.
Add a little maltodextrin to a glass of your first brew after it has had four or five weeks of bottle conditioning. Start low and increase to judge the effect.
To many tweaks at the same time may make it hard to differentiate which did what for the flavor or body. More time in the bottle may be the only missing ingredient.
I keep hearing more time in the bottle, yet so many say glowing things and drinking at points that I am already past so it is frustrating. Despite that I know I prefer a heartier style of porter, so the question of adding more grain at least for flavor still applies I would think
I brewed the extract kit recently and treated it like a partial mash. I steeped the grains in a bag for an hour and did a small sparge of the grains to extract more fermentables. Added the honey at 10 minutes. It came out nice and dark with good head and mouthfeel and is getting better with time.
I don’t have a large brew kettle so I ended up doing two kettles at once before fermenting.
You won’t really get all that much highly fermentable sugar from those steeping grains. Maybe a bit from the Munich but it’s only one lb. the other grains could potentially make the beer a bit darker and would contribute sugars that are LESS fermentable. They’re small amounts but could contribute to better, fuller mouth feel and more residual sweetness. Which might make it more palable to the OP.
Zymurgy Magazine (Jan 2002, pp 49-50) has an article on steeping dark grains (with experiments and results. Anyone know if there is a similar article that covers crystal/caramel grains?
I just took a look at NBs recipe. I have an all grain recipe that I really like. It adds Brown malt(1lb), a little of the Cherrywood smoked malt(6-8oz), a little honey malt(4oz) and a lot more chocolate malt than their recipe uses. I don’t use either the black malt that they use or roast barley. IMO they give too much of a roasty, burnt flavor in this beer.
If I were you, I’d plug their recipe into an online recipe creator (I use and like Brewtoad, but there are many).
Add some more chocolate malt and maybe some honeymalt and see what that does for you. If you think your last version came out too thin, you could add a couple oz. of carapils or melanoidin malt as well. And I agree with your thought about adding the honey late boil. But, I also agree with danny, don’t add more than the 1 lb. honey.
Sounds perfect! I think I will find and add grains as you suggest because I agree the recipe if anything swings toward more burnt flavors so I will stick with the amount of honey and just late add. At this point looking to brew in a few months pointing toward fall/winter drinking, so I will continue to look at options until I order grain again and hopefully post updates later in the year, Thank you!